• Coronavirus field hospitals in New York are shutting down 
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo wanted these built to prepare for an influx of COVID-19 patients
  • Cuomo was criticized for wasting money on facilities that weren't used

Some coronavirus field hospitals around New York, which were set up following a projected influx of COVID-19 patients, are shutting down after remaining unused. Officials, however, regard this as a "good problem" despite the government pouring millions of dollars to build these hospitals.

A Navy ship set up as a coronavirus field hospital in Manhattan is preparing to sail off since it never had any COVID-19 patients. Another facility, which treated over 1,000 patients, will shut down Friday.

Three other coronavirus field hospitals, found at Stony Brook University, State University of New York College, and Old Westbury, will remain on standby. These facilities were built in a matter of days by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers upon the request of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to the tune of over $100 million.

Military members begin adding lamps to the Patient Care Units (PCU) for Phase II at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, April 2, 2020. Major Patrick Cordova/Flickr

In mid-April, President Donald Trump criticized Cuomo for this request on his Twitter account. However, Cuomo believed in planning for the worst-case scenario.

Experts predicted that New York would need at least 110,000 beds to treat COVID-19 patients. However, the actual beds used fell below 20 percent of the projected number, which experts say is a good sign.

"It will count as a huge success for the whole country if we never have to use them,” National Health Service chief executive Simon Stevens said. “But with further waves of coronavirus possible, it is important that we have these extra facilities in place and treating patients."

Elsewhere around the U.S., coronavirus field hospitals in Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia were also barely used. Chicago's $64 million temporary hospital, which could take in 500 patients, only treated 12. Detroit prepared 1,000 beds, but only 36 were used. Philadelphia's makeshift hospital had less than six COVID-19 patients at a time.

“Better to build it and they don’t come than to not build it at all,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, on the other hand, said that it's a "sign of great success" to see the facilities unused and on the verge of shutting down.

Meanwhile, coronavirus field hospitals in Italy and Spain, two countries with the highest number of infections next to America, were considered essential. In Madrid, a convention center was converted into a 5,000-bed facility that treated 4,000 patients.